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Is Ski Theft at Epidemic Levels?

Poll Results: Have you had one or more a pair of skis stolen from a resort in the last 5 years?

Poll expired: Sep 1, 2010  
  • 7% (2)
    Yes
  • 92% (26)
    No
28 Total Votes  
post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Just curious how big an issue this is.

post #2 of 17

Not in Aspen.  I never lock my skis and I leave an extra pair on top, outside the patrol shack, for months at a time. 

post #3 of 17

No.  But then I lock mine.  I read about them being stolen all the time in the Police Blotter section, but no one else seems to lock theirs.  After all, "this is Montana".  They don't seem to realize we get visitors.

post #4 of 17

In the past 30 years, I had two pair stolen, one on Christmas night at Camelback, over 70 pr stolen that night and about 2 years ago at Okemo, which I really think was an unintentional theft, they were taken by accident. I think snowboard theft is more rampant than ski theft. 

post #5 of 17

Several thefts at Alpine Meadows and Squaw, especially Volkl skis...beware

post #6 of 17

Had a pair of K2 Public Enemies stolen at Alpine in the very early season.  Bought a ski lock after that....  Seems like resorts with restaurants at the base near surface roads are prime targets...

post #7 of 17

I think I heard of one pair stolen around here last year or the year before, but I've heard several people mention that their adjustable ski poles had been stolen.

post #8 of 17

I think (hope) all my "modern" skis are old enough (and maybe odd enough) that no one would want them. My potentially collectible retro skis are a different deal. I actually take more care to keep them safe than my newer ones.

 

That being said, my older son had this "Frankenbike", a 20-inch dirt bike made out of spare parts. It got stolen (and recovered) twice. It was by far the ugliest bike in the school bike parking area, but it got snatched anyway. So maybe my uncool skis are more cool to someone than I think they are.

 

post #9 of 17

I'm not sure how valuable a ski lock really is. I got one of the cable locks for last season and wrapped it around the bindings and tried to get it tight. Somehow the combo changed a number when it was in my pocket or something because it was one number off later on with my skis locked up. I finally gave up trying to guess the combination and managed to work my skis out of the lock by lifting them up. It was a crowded day and not a single person so much as gave me a second thought that I was pulling a pair of skis out of a lock after spending 10 minutes trying to guess the combo.  

post #10 of 17

 

Roundtop and Whitetail both have very good ski checks.     Locks are really a waste of time at both resorts.    I would DEFINITELY lock a race ski at Liberty but they have coin-locks.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

I'm not sure how valuable a ski lock really is. I got one of the cable locks for last season and wrapped it around the bindings and tried to get it tight. Somehow the combo changed a number when it was in my pocket or something because it was one number off later on with my skis locked up. I finally gave up trying to guess the combination and managed to work my skis out of the lock by lifting them up. It was a crowded day and not a single person so much as gave me a second thought that I was pulling a pair of skis out of a lock after spending 10 minutes trying to guess the combo.  

post #11 of 17

I'd be SOL as I always put mine THRU the bindings and I stay away from bindings where you can't do that.  I even include the poles in a way that you can't remove them (too complicated to describe here).  Basically, you have to cut the cable.  Which, of course, is possible.  But, of course, since there might be one other set locked up, why would they bother to do that?  Just walk off with the other guy's.  That's MY plan. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

I'm not sure how valuable a ski lock really is. I got one of the cable locks for last season and wrapped it around the bindings and tried to get it tight. Somehow the combo changed a number when it was in my pocket or something because it was one number off later on with my skis locked up. I finally gave up trying to guess the combination and managed to work my skis out of the lock by lifting them up. It was a crowded day and not a single person so much as gave me a second thought that I was pulling a pair of skis out of a lock after spending 10 minutes trying to guess the combo.  

post #12 of 17


You're banking on the thief not having a $25 tool (that can be hidden by the hand, that can nibble through anything it doesn't cut through on the first go, that is  common in both bike shops and hardware shops).

 

To answer your question: they would bother to do that because the lock is a signal that you are leaving the skis for at least some length of time, and is a signal that they might be worth something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

  But, of course, since there might be one other set locked up, why would they bother to do that?  Just walk off with the other guy's.  That's MY plan.

post #13 of 17

I haven't had skis stolen, but did have a pair of poles taken in Apr of 09.  It was during demo days while I was taking my L2 exam at Crystal Mtn WA.  Someone had taken my poles that were hanging from my ski tips.  They left a pair of poles 2 inches shorter in their place.   They turned up the next day in the rental shop.

 

That leads us to this last season when I had a chat with one of the Security staff at the hill where I work.  He had an interesting tale.

 

Over the course of two weeks last spring they worked with the local county sheriff on a ski/snowboard theft ring that was operating at the hill.  Some of his observations were the result of analyzing video of the plaza and some was info from the owners/victims.

 

-The stolen items were usually picked up within 5 minutes of being set down. It doesn't matter whether you are going to the restroom or to lunch.  They are watching for the quick grab.

-Only one of the items was locked.  None were at ski check except someone who had leaned their item against the outside of the fence.

-All were major brands. Current model year.  High end equipment.  All nearly new.  There was no rental gear or old stuff.

-There were duplicate items. The thieves knew what they were looking for and what they could sell.

-Most were snowboards.

 

In the end the County Sheriff caught three guys in a van in the parking lot with 20 snowboards and one pair of skis.  A search warrant at a residence turned up another 30-35 snowboards and 2 pairs of skis in a garage.

 

The moral of the story?  Clip your snow blades to your belt during lunch? (a la McConky)  Or better yet use ski check.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

I'm not sure how valuable a ski lock really is. I got one of the cable locks for last season and wrapped it around the bindings and tried to get it tight. Somehow the combo changed a number when it was in my pocket or something because it was one number off later on with my skis locked up. I finally gave up trying to guess the combination and managed to work my skis out of the lock by lifting them up. It was a crowded day and not a single person so much as gave me a second thought that I was pulling a pair of skis out of a lock after spending 10 minutes trying to guess the combo.  



That is depressing.  If it is any consolation, if I saw that I would walk up to you and ask what you were doing.  I almost always lock my skis at the resort, but I know if someone really wants em- snip!  I usually try to put my setup near a setup that I know is worth more money and isn't locked.  I have friends that put one ski at one rack and the other ski at a different rack, but I am not sure how well that works.  I have been thinking about using a bike lock instead of the whimpy skinny cable ski locks.  You know the best way to get around this?  Ski the backcountry!

post #15 of 17

I have a ski lock that only works in certain racks, ski key or something like that.  If the resort has those racks, I use them.  Otherwise I don't take off my skis, which means I don't stop skiing, or I lock them up in my car. 

 

You don't have to make your skis impossible to steal, you just have to make them harder to take than the nearby pairs.  If you have a really desirable model, you have to make them a lot harder.

 

I can recall skiing with friends years ago, we would always take guard duty in turns, standing nearby surreptitiously eyeballing the skis, just hoping some soon to become pulp low life would try and steal them.  I'm just lucky nobody did; I was a lot less understanding and tolerant when I was young.

 

BTW this pole is flawed; the the EPIC population probably takes more precautions against theft than the average bear.

post #16 of 17

Most times I switch skis with a friend/skier and place at seperate locations.  Never had a problem

post #17 of 17

I often have new, eye catching, steal worthy skis and I've never had a pair stolen.  I had a pair of poles stolen once (fairly expensive carbon poles), but I figured that was just a sign to stop buying carbon poles...

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